I felt so much stronger at church this week than I did last week. I felt my smile come to my face more quickly, and I have my voice back. I didn’t know if I would be able to sing again. Last week, I couldn’t sing. If I tried, I would cry. Today I sang out freely.
I got to talk to two sisters in the last two days whose stories inspired me. I can see the incredible faith that they both have that has helped lead them through their fierce battles. The Savior is the author of their salvation and they are in his hand.
I’ve been pondering a lot more on the ideas I wrote about in my last post. The ward I wanted and needed doesn’t exist right now. That doesn’t mean it will never exist. Right now I have retreated, like all good commanders know when to do. It is a strategic retreat; a change of strategy and an opportunity to regroup and rethink.
In my church history, we tried a social experiment. Long ago several church members tried to live what they called, “The United Order.” Everyone was supposed to share everything and they didn’t have any private property. It all fell apart. People were just too selfish and impatient for it to get started. Still, the idea of the United Order has remained in the Mormon psyche. In the Book of Mormon it says that after the Savior came and visited the people in America, that they were able to create a society where they practiced the United Order. There was peace and prosperity for four hundred years! Then it fell apart and they all murdered each other within a few decades.
When people try to live a law that’s higher and more demanding, it can be hard to get everyone on board long enough to reap the benefits. When something great does get started, it doesn’t take long for people to get prideful and forget God and then it falls apart pretty quickly. That’s just a part of living in a fallen world, I guess.
With my ward, I need to have patience and faith. Those two things will make all the difference. I was so vulnerable. I was so brave. I was so bold. It takes time to process that. They need time, but they also need to understand that I’m not going anywhere. I’m not going to let them get comfortable thinking they have silenced me or driven me out. I am stronger and smarter than they think I am. And I love them more than they think I do. I can say I’m sorry, I can make nice, I can admit I’m wrong, I can stand up and tell the truth, I can get knocked down, and then get up and do it again. What I won’t do is give up.
I have this persistent vision of a haven where people can come to in this world of stress and confusion; a place where we can drink deeply of the Savior’s love and share it with one another. A place where people understand the principles of emotional health and they teach them and practice them. There is no reason why we can’t make that happen. It is only fear that keeps us from Zion.
Zion! Where the pure in heart dwell! Where hearts and minds are knit together into one powerful unit! Nothing is impossible when we are united. It is when we are divided that Satan can paralyze us. It is when we tug against one another and waste our energy in competition and pride that we seal the heavens shut against us. The Savior has so many blessings for us if we would just get out of our own way.
The real reason for the bee in my bonnet is that we are running out of time. People need the Savior! They are turning to Donald Trump they are so desperate for leadership and a sense of hope for the future. Our world is dangerously careening along a precipice. Jesus Christ is the only hope for our salvation. His message resonates within the human soul and unites all those who will humble themselves and own Him Lord.
I see my neighbors and friends out washing their boat, driving their Jeep, living their lives. I think, when the end comes, are they going to be safe? Is there enough faith and light in me that I can show them a path forward when everything is dark? When I take the Savior’s name upon me in sacrament meeting each week, am I living true to my covenant? When people see me, do they see Him? If not, what can I do differently? How can I be the Savior’s hands today to gather and serve His children?
The time for being a lazy disciple are over for me. I don’t know exactly where my Lord will have me serve, but I give my life to Him. All that I am and all that I will ever be belongs to my Lord. He knows my heart. He knows the strength of my conviction. I know that what I want is also what He wants. I just need to wait on Him right now to show me how to make it happen. If Peter could go from doubting and denying to testifying, healing, and dying a martyr, so can I. I can be the instrument he needs to bless the lives of my ward family. Persistence, courage, and love cannot be overcome; like a mighty river, they will find a way through, around, or over any obstacle.